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U.S. Senate panel votes to end oil spill liability cap (err, except Max Baucus)

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 04:26 PM
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U.S. Senate panel votes to end oil spill liability cap (err, except Max Baucus)
U.S. Senate panel votes to end oil spill liability cap

Richard Cowan
Reuters US Online Report Politics News

Jun 30, 2010 14:39 EDT


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday voted to eliminate a cap on liability that oil companies would face for damages from offshore spills, like the one devastating the U.S. Gulf coast.

The committee's vote would open the industry to unlimited claims by removing the current $75 million cap companies now enjoy on compensating local communities for economic losses and the impact of offshore spills on natural resources.

The change, if approved and made law, would apply retroactively to BP Plc's massive Gulf of Mexico spill, although the company has already said it would cover all costs, which will run into the billions of dollars.


While lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Representatives have made the liability legislation a top priority following the BP spill, a senior Democrat -- Senator Max Baucus, who chairs the influential Senate Finance Committee -- expressed reservations about imposing unlimited liability on the oil industry.

Before the committee approved the bill, Baucus said that a $10 billion cap that had been kicked around in May, "made some sense to me" and he questioned whether the removal of all caps would hurt some U.S. firms while helping foreign ones.

It was unclear whether Baucus would try to amend the bill later in the legislative process.

more...

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2010/06/us_senate...
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